Byways 101

Part 3: Public & Community Involvement

Political Complexity Vs. Resource Complexity

Every byway needs a participation strategy that meets the particular circumstances of that road and the people engaged in it. One useful way to begin developing that strategy is to consider your route’s political and resource complexities.

Political Complexity
Political complexity refers to how difficult it will be to involve the right people so that good decisions are made and so that the byway is politically feasible. Consider the likely level of opposition that may accompany a byway proposal. Identify individuals or other stakeholders who may actively oppose the byway.

Think about groups that might have different agendas concerning what the byway should accomplish. Also involve groups from whom permission may be needed to use resources or access land.

Remember that it will be important to listen to the concerns of others, and acknowledge and address those concerns in the byway planning process.

Resource Complexity
Resource complexity refers to the complexity of the intrinsic qualities along the byway. The greater the complexity, the harder it will be to reach consensus on how to manage the road. Likewise, the greater the complexity, the larger the number of interest groups who should be invited to the table.

Roads are more complicated when they have several intrinsic qualities. The length of the byway, the difficulty of the management issues, and the scope of the interpretive program affect resource complexity.

Again, remember that it will be important to listen to the concerns of others, and acknowledge and address those concerns in the byway planning process.

As you consider your byway’s political and resource complexities, make two lists: one for the political challenges you anticipate you will face and one for the resource challenges. Refer to these lists as you move through the participation effort.

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